Marc Wilson on Palace boss Pulis’ most wanted list
Crystal Palace boss Tony Pulis is hoping to further reinforce his backline before the end of the summer transfer window, with Stoke City defender Marc Wilson tipped to be his top target.
Palace are outsiders at 2500/1 to be top London club this term, but Pulis wants to add to his options in defence, despite the Eagles only conceding 48 Premier League goals last season. Only six clubs, including the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal, had a better defensive record, but Palace don’t appear to be resting on their laurels.
Former Fulham centre back Brede Hangeland has already been snapped up by the Eagles on a free transfer, however the east London outfit are keen to make more additions after the exits of defensive trio Danny Gabbidon, Jonathan Parr and Dean Moxey.
Pulis has previously worked with Republic of Ireland international Wilson, after signing him from Portsmouth for the Potters in 2010, before being replaced by Mark Hughes last summer. The versatile defender has been capped 17 times for the Boys in Green, and can operate anywhere across the back line, or as a midfield anchor.
Wilson, born in Northern Ireland, spent a portion of his youth career with Premier League giants Manchester United, before moving to Portsmouth in 2004.
Adaptable, the player has most recently been deployed as a left back for his country, as they failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. The 26-year-old also made 38 appearances for Stoke last term, often partnering fellow ex-United academy product Ryan Shawcross at centre back, to cover for the injured Robert Huth.
It is rumoured Stoke would be willing to sell, with Hughes reported to be ready to offload a defender to raise funds, and Wilson, who has made 138 outings for the Potters could be the first casualty. It is believed Pulis could snare his former charge for around £5m, but the Eagles boss is also apparently interested in a double deal that also involves Steven N’Zonzi.
The Frenchman, who previously plied his trade with Blackburn Rovers, has reportedly handed in two transfer requests during his stint at the Britannia Stadium, and may be open to a summer switch to Palace, who are 9/2 for a top ten finish.
Pulis is still keen to strengthen, having only signed Hangeland and former Cardiff forward Fraizer Campbell so far, and seemingly missing out on targets such as Stephen Caulker. The Eagles boss is, however, keen to avoid a repeat of last season’s scenario, when Ian Holloway signed four players on deadline day.
Speaking recently, Pulis insisted: “one thing is for sure is that we won’t be signing loads of players on the final day of the window like we did last year.”